from On the Safe Edge: A Manual for SM Play
by Trevor Jacques, Toronto, WholeSM, 1993
Safe All players have taken the necessary precautions to prevent psychological and physical damage to themselves, including the transmission of disease.
Sane All players are in full possession of their mental faculties and are fully aware of the risks involved in the play they intend.
Consensual All players fully understand the potential risks of their intended play and have consented to the activities. This consent can be withdrawn or modified by any player at any time.
Hurt versus Harm
from ABC of BDSM by David 'Slakker' Merrill
For lots of leatherfolk, pain is a goal of their play. We claim the right to decide for ourselves what sexual activities we will partake in, including pain play. As long as no one is harmed, and by that we mean that no damage is done which does not readily and quickly heal, we believe that the government (and everyone else) has no right to proscribe our actions.
However, as with most other democratic freedoms, the rights which we claim come with a heavy load of responsibility. One who is not prepared to accept that responsibility should never pick up a flogger.
We are responsible for the health and safety of our partners and ourselves.
Remember, it is okay to hurt your partners (i.e., cause pain), but you must never harm them.